Written by: Kevin Gardner
Businesses are rapidly going green. At one time the environmental movement seemed like another passing trend running on idealism alone. Somewhere over the past two decades, a tipping point was reached where sustainability went from possibility to paradigm shift. Companies around the globe are now racing to catch up with the call for greater efficiency and consciousness being demanded by customers and employees alike. Here are just a few ways that business leaders can spread that message of environmental responsibility to their workforce.
1. Use Green Energy
One of the most simple yet radical ways that business owners can create a green company culture is to use energy from renewable resources to power their workplace, especially solar power. This doesn't just make the statement that your business cares, it's an economically sound decision. In 2017, solar power dropped in cost to $0.06 per kilowatt-hour, and has now become one of the cheapest and most versatile sources of power available on the market. Resiliency is another payoff of this incredible change, since solar power has a greater overall price stability than oil. Find a review of solar companies and research which option fits your company's needs.
2. Make Office Life More Natural
For the first time in a long time, managers and designers are starting to take a hard look at how the work environment affects our health, attitudes and productivity. What they've found through groundbreaking research is that natural light boosts productivity, potted flora such spider plants improve air quality markedly and offering healthy food choices can make everyone more efficient and well. The bottom line is that by incorporating natural processes into our daily lives, we become more conscious of our place within that system and thus become wiser, better and more productive people as a result.
3. Teach Workers About Sustainability
Teaching environmental responsibility isn't about pushing an ideology on anybody. We all have different visions of the future, and that's fine. Sustainability really is an exact science, meaning that certain actions and their consequences can be explained in a simple, fact-based and jargon-free manner that is universally applicable. Explain exactly how much money can be saved by simple actions such as turning off unused lights. If you start a company recycling program, put up posters and infographics showing exactly how the process impacts the water they drink and the air they breathe. Keep the knowledge basic and numbers-focused and remember that learning about the planet should be fun and accessible, not drudgery.
4. Let People Work From Home
The transportation sector generates a plurality of America's greenhouse gas emissions. A full 28.2% of them, according to a landmark 2018 EPA study. Unless everyone drives a solar-powered car (and that day is likely coming sooner than we think), there's a need to consider transportation efficiency in economies of scale. In other words, cut the commute if you can. In our age of internet connectivity, few office jobs require constant physical presence to accomplish. Here's another reason to embrace remote work: A Stanford University study showed that remote workers are on average 13% more efficient because they get to personally tailor both their time usage and workspace. That's a revolution we can all get behind.
5. Build Ecology Into Your Company Vision
A massive shift is happening in the attitudes of the workforce. Millennial workers especially are telling potential employers to either step up to the plate in addressing environmental concerns, or they'll take their highly educated minds somewhere else to work. In fact, recent surveys have found that nearly 40% of millennials chose a job based primarily on that company's commitment to ecological responsibility. A company vision that includes these ideals has to be about more than just making quiet internal changes. Company leaders need to be vocal about their commitment to creating a cleaner world.
Environmental responsibility is here to stay, and it's a good thing too. A world where everyone works to live in harmony with nature is one that works more wisely and productively. Start putting these five strategies into action at your business today.